afterlife discussion has nine lives

A recent gracEmail titled "Boy Who Told Fibs About Heaven" told of 16-year-old Alex Malarkey's announcement that his book, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven (co-written with dad, Kevin), was untrue. Alex never went to heaven, he now says, but rather as a six-year-old made up the whole story to get attention. The gracEmail noted three major elements in Alex's story that contradict biblical … [Read more...]

MORAL CHOICES AND MATURITY

A gracEmail subscriber belongs to a church group whose leaders give "advice" to the members on whom they may date, when, how often and so forth. Although our brother carefully follows scriptural teaching on sexual purity, he does not always agree with his church leaders' opinions in other details. Yet he feels guilty and unspiritual when he chooses not to follow their "advice." He asks my … [Read more...]

GOSPEL OF JUDAS (UPDATE)

Since writing the previous gracEmail on the "Gospel of Judas," I have viewed the two-hour television special aired on Sunday night, April 9, 2006 on the National Geographic Channel and have read the actual translation of this document. Having now seen the program and having read the "Gospel of Judas" itself, both of which confirmed the previous gracEmail, I add the following observations in this … [Read more...]

REFORMERS WERE NOT GNOSTICS

A young minister in Canada suggests that the Gnostics, whom John denounced in 1 and 2 John as "antichrists," taught "faith only" and "eternal security," and that the Reformers Luther and Calvin were therefore "antichrists" as well since they also taught both doctrines. * * * It is absurd for anyone to compare the Gnostics against whom John wrote (and Paul, and the later Church Fathers) to the … [Read more...]

WHO’S AT THE DOOR?

A gracEmail subscriber from Florida asks, "Am I violating Scripture when I invite cultic door-to-door evangelists into my home to discuss the Bible, hoping I can teach them about Christ? Second John 10 says we are not to receive into our house anyone who comes bringing a non-Christian message." * * * The Apostle John reminds his readers of the original Christian message which centers on Jesus … [Read more...]

THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

A gracEmail subscriber wants to know more about the so-called "Jehovah's Witnesses" who go door-to-door evangelizing, and whether he should regard them as Christians. * * * The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is an American-born, now international, apocalyptic religious movement founded about 1884 by Charles Taze Russell. Since 1931, its members have called themselves "Jehovah's Witnesses" … [Read more...]

MIRACLES, MORMONS & PROPHETS

A brother who is sure that God does not perform miracles today writes that people in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claim to heal the sick and speak in tongues, as do Pentecostals. "How can you condemn the Mormons," he asks, "if they are sincere? If you think prophecy has not ceased, how can you say the Book of Mormon is not from God and ought not be added to the Bible?" * * … [Read more...]

GOSPEL OF JUDAS

As every savvy marketer knows, sensationalism sells books and attracts a television audience. The National Geographic Channel can therefore expect a host of viewers for its special program "The Gospel of Judas" set to show tonight (Sunday, April 9, 2006). "One of the most significant biblical finds of the last century," hypes the producer's website, "-- a lost gospel that could challenge what is … [Read more...]